Bahrain Grand Prix facts and stats

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Not just a one-lap wonder - Jarno Trulli set his first race fastest lap
Not just a one-lap wonder - Jarno Trulli set his first race fastest lap

After 203 starts and over 10,000 laps, Jarno Trulli finally set his first fastest lap in a Grand Prix yesterday.

Plus, Nick Heidfeld is set to finally beat Michael Schumacher’s records for most consecutive race finishes if he’s still running at the end of the Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

Jenson Button scored his fourth career win, giving him as many as Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren and Eddie Irvine.

Jarno Trulli set his fourth pole position and first fastest lap. It took him 203 starts to achieve his first fastest lap, which is a record. The previous driver to have started the most races before setting a fastest lap was Jenson Button – he did at this year’s Malaysian Grand Prix, his 155th start.

Trulli also passed the 10,000 laps landmark, recording his 10,013th. Only six drivers have covered more: Michael Schumacher (13,909), Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard, Riccardo Patrese, Giancarlo Fisichella and Alain Prost.

Toyota scored their first one-two in qualifying ever, and their first pole position since Suzuka 2005 (Ralf Schumacher).

Nick Heidfeld equalled Michael Schumacher’s record for most races consecutively finished, with 24. He also has 32 consecutive race classifications (completed more than 90% distance but not necessarily still running at the end). Schumacher’s run stretched from Hungary 2001 to Malaysia 2003, in which time he won 14 races and finished on the podium seven other times. Heidfeld is yet to win a race and in the course of his 24-race finishing stretched finished on the podium five times.

Six drivers are yet to score a point this year: Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica, Kazuki Nakajima, Nelson Piquet Jnr and Force India pilots Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil.

On the flip side three drivers have scored points in all four races: the Brawn drivers and Timo Glock. Lewis Hamilton would also be on the list but for his disqualification in Australia.

Sebastian Vettel finished second for the first time in a Grand Prix.

Mercedes won their 70th Grand Prix as an engine constructor. They are the fifth most successful engine builder in F1 history, behind Ferrari (210), Ford/Cosworth (176), Renault (116) and Honda (72). Those 70 wins are split between Mercedes’ works team of the 1950s (nine), Brawn (three) and McLaren (58).

Despite the changes in the technical regulations and the fact there have been two wet races, reliability has been better so far in 2009 than in the whole of 2008. Last year 78% of starts ended in a finish, so far this year it’s 86%. Only Kazuki Nakajima failed to finish in Bahrain, retiring after his car developed high oil pressure.

Spotted any more interesting facts and stats from the Bahrain Grand Prix? Don your finest anorak and leave a comment below…

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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56 comments on “Bahrain Grand Prix facts and stats”

  1. its been the billionth time a driver has said “for sure” after a race.


    1. i reckon it’s more than that. at least massa hasn’t been on the podium. he racks up more than a billion ‘for sures’ in one podium post race press conference!

    2. Maybe we could send Flippy an english thesaurus.

    3. HAHA, you noticed that too? for sure for sure…. AAAAHHH

      Keith you should investigate why they use the FOR SURE response? have they all had the same speech trainer?

    4. Have we noticed… FOR SURE!!!

      I understand that the foreign drivers need to use it sometimes when they can’t think of a better expression, but even Button and Hamilton ‘for sure’ their way through every press conference.

    5. hahaha awesome pick up..

    1. thanks for the link Rob, good for a giggle during lunch.

      Here’s another link for giggles, Felipe BABY STAY COOL!
      They make such a cute couple.

  2. Has anyone noticed the STAR OF DAVID on Rubens’ helmet ? It was visible during the on-board cockpit camera. Has it been there on previous races as well ?
    Anyway I wish they had the radio on while he was stuck behind the frustrating KERS of his Brazilian mate…

    1. and yes he had that on previous races as well (here GP AUS)

  3. I posted this in an other news story, but it’s probably a better fit here.

    It’s interesting to note that Ferrari are still experiencing their worst start to a Formula One season ever. Even though they’ve scored 3 points with Räikkönen’s 6th place, Scheckter and Pironi took a 5th place in the 4th Grand Prix of in 1980 respectively 1981.

    One could argue that 1993 was even worse, however, because Ferrari only took 2 points from two 6th places in the first 5 GPs. The first of those was scored in race 1, though.

  4. It does seem that the cars are closer to each other, so passing is easier.
    Credit 2 Mo when he deserves it !

  5. When was the last time that all cars finished a race?

    1. I asked the same on Twitter. It was the monstrosity of Indianapolis 2005, since only 6 cars took the start, and all finished. Before that, I’m not too sure.

    2. It was the 2005 Italian GP. According to Wikipedia, that was the first time that a full field had all finished the race since 1961.

      And yeah, the not-even-close-to-full field also all finished at Indianapolis 2005.

  6. Another slight side note, but with Rubens this year being one of only a select few who had ever driven on F1 slicks before, if he retains a seat next year, am I right in thinking he’ll be the only driver on the grid to have participated in races before where teams wern’t allowed to refuel (1993 season)?

    1. I reckon he is.

      He would also equal Graham Hill’s record of competing during 18 seasons, should he complete 2010, too.

    2. Not to mention the stat Rubens is really chasing (other than a title, of course):

      Having entered 300 Grands Prix

  7. This GP saw the longest Trulli Train ever.

    1. I think “trulli train” should be an official term now there is one almost every race. We should make an F1 dictionary of funny terms like this!

  8. those stats of Trulli’s and Button’s that showed they took the most GPs to set a fastest lap really illustrates the power shift in F1. Power shift might not be the right word, but I cant remember a season before where the so called big teams were all doing badly and the perceived weak teams were all near the front. I think the traditional big teams will come back and thats probably why there still hasn’t been a power shift.
    But basically if you ply your trade in a mid grid car for years then you are very unlikely to set fastest laps or move into a bigger team to set fastest laps(trulli in particular because Button has been at bigger teams IMO). Only when something as significant and unpredictable as the swap around we are currently seeing would have given Trulli a fastest lap.

  9. To answer the first part of your post Gazzap, possibly the last time the top teams struggled and a smaller team won consistently was 1994, when Benetton came to the fore.

    Before this it was probably when McLaren, Tyrrell and Williams burst into the sport, for example when Williams entered F1 in ’77, finished 9th in ’78 and won the Constructors Championship in ’79.

    I agree though, McLaren and Ferrari will return to the front. Not sure about Williams tho, they’ve now gone 75 races without a win.

    1. > possibly the last time the top teams struggled and a smaller team
      > won consistently was 1994, when Benetton came to the fore.

      Don’t forget that Benetton was already very much one of the top-tier teams prior to 1994. It had been 3rd in the WCC in 1988, 1990, 1992 and 1993, while 4th 1989 and 1991. Plus, it won at least one Grand Prix in all those seasons bar the first.

  10. Alonso had problems with the water, and he couldn’t drink during the race. Picture of Alonso seconds before to faint when he was making interviews with spanish media after the race.

    1. He does not look good


    1. Quite sure you’ve got your stats wrong there dude

  12. The phrase “KERS system” has officially become the most annoying of the season and we’re only four races in.

    Next we’ll start hearing people use phrases such as “BHP power“, “RPM minute“, “CFD dynamics” and maybe even “DC Coulthard” and “FOM management“.

    1. No need to get OTT top


      Totally agree, its KERS and that’s it!

    2. The Indy Car commentators often refer to ‘RPMs’, but that’s still not half as annoying as ‘KERS system’…

    3. I was disappointed to hear Martin Brundle say this so many times on the BBC coverage, you come to expect better of him!

    4. yeah. kinetic energy recovery system system.

    5. Maybe you need to key in a PIN number to get him to stop :D

  13. Kimi has failed to win since Spain 2008, which was exactly a year ago today, April 27th.

    Massa has failed to score a point in the last four races, his worst record since he’s been at Ferrari. He went six races without scoring towards the end of 2005 when he was with Sauber.

    Interestngly, in Malaysia this year Massa racked up his 4th P9 with Ferrari. He also has 3 x P13’s with the Scuderia. This helps feed the argument that he can win from Pole but struggles to fight his way to the front in a Grand Prix.

  14. Freecon, it seems it’s the cap holding Alonso upright :-) but very impressive effort if he’s looking like that afterwards

  15. I find it staggering that these F1 guys can engineer such complicated parts but they cant get a straw from a water bottle to function. It actually seems to happen fairly often as well. So did Alonso actually faint, and did anyone get footage of that?

    1. I think Barrichello in Aus didn’t have a working water bottle, and it happened to several drivers last year but I can’t remember which. I also find it baffling. It would have been terrible in Bahrain.

  16. Ajokay you are right about Barichello

  17. Mercedes is about to pass Honda in engine wins. The Brawn cars are huge in that had they had Honda, Merc wouldn’t stand much of a chance at wins this year.

  18. It was Mark Webber’s 125th Grand Prix

    1. He didn’t seem particularly overawed by the statistic when Martin asked about it on the grid. He made a jokey comment along the lines of “Next they’ll be saying 130 races is a milestone!”

  19. The last time the winner wasn’t on pole was the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix, 7 races ago. In that race, Alonso won from 4th – as did Jenson on Sunday.

    Jenson scored his fourth consecutive podium, something he’s not done in F1 before.

    Kubica is currently matching his worse pointless streak in his career, stretching 5 races. He also went five races without points at the end of 06 and into 07.

    The last time a driver won three from four races was in 2007 when Raikkonen won three of the last four.

  20. What’s the maximum number of time that anyone has been consistently outqualified by his team mate? “for sure” Piquet is setting a record there.

    1. yeah good point. or if he hasn’t set that record i don’t think he’ll be around long enough to set it.

      on the upside, at least he finished the race.

  21. Well,I have to give Heidfeld congrats on his record to tie Schuie on most consecutive race finishes.I’m pulling for him to break the record as the new “Iron Man” of Formula One.(if my driver can not win a race at least I can still root for something!)

  22. Marco Aurélio
    27th April 2009, 23:34

    3 pits to Barrichello, Why?

  23. Eduardo Gigante
    28th April 2009, 1:35

    This is actually Kimi’s 134th Grand Prix, or 135th (I didn’t see if they had updated it).

  24. Eduardo Gigante
    28th April 2009, 1:36

    How is Heidfeld on Stefan Johansson’s record of podiums without a win (12)? Is he tied already?

  25. KERS = push to block.

  26. Alonso said that he had the eighth fastest car and finished in eighth place, which said it all. Piquet upset Barrichello by holding him back, the elder Brazilian mistakenly thinking he was being lapped, and finished a consistent 10th.

  27. Piquet upset Barrichello by holding him back, the elder Brazilian mistakenly thinking he was being lapped, and finished a consistent 10th.

  28. how much time per lap would Alonso have suffered by being that dehydrated?

    1. Difficult to put an exact number on it. Concentration fades first, so it wouldn’t have been seen so much as a consistent loss of time as an increase in minor errors. Fortunately, Alonso is good enough that none of the minor errors that inevitably would have occurred led to any major incidents.

      After that, co-ordination is reduced, at which point it would have taken more brainpower to keep everything going correctly.

      The easiest way to figure out the time loss would be to compare the times he was doing at the end to the beginning and then comparing the way his times changed to that of others round him.

      It’s entirely possible that only adrenaline and determination was keeping him going at the end.

  29. Was this Toyota’s first fastest lap?

    Piquet has been outqualified by Alonso in every race since they became team mates, 22 races and counting

    Car 22 has won 8 of the past 22 races, with Button and Hamilton

  30. Keith,

    Have to say love your site and I check it out before an other.

    I’ve had the privilege to being at Silverstone in ’85 and been hooked ever since, traveling to all the European circuits over the years (Valencia excluded as I don’t consider that a proper circuit yet) and Malaysia last year.

    Always being in the position of defending F1 against other sports the statement I am often met by is ‘Well, there was only one overtaking maneuver in the whole race!’

    Can you tell me if there is anywhere that I can find out those statistics (and if the maneuver was successful or not) or can I through the gauntlet down to all you stat geeks out there to do a bit or research on the matter?

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